Scholarships invest in the next generation

By Ruth Peebles
Founder of the Loomis, Rose and Ruth Peebles Endowment, an NCCF scholarship fund

I grew up in a family that was all about generosity and giving to others.

My parents, Loomis and Rose, were both educators and committed philanthropists. I remember seeing them write checks to support local nonprofits as a young girl, and I saw how active they were in our community. They were active volunteers. My dad was very involved in Junior Achievement. My mom volunteered with the Literacy Council and Habitat for Humanity.

As educators and community members, they were passionate about supporting students and the value of education. I started this fund to honor their tremendous influence on my life and the impact they had during their lifetimes. My parents were my biggest supporters.

I’ve always felt the need to give back to express gratitude for the love, support and guidance that my parents so freely gave me.

Through the Loomis, Rose and Ruth Peebles Endowment, I’m able to make strategic investments in the education of young people, specifically African American first-generation students, that help position them to become productive community leaders for tomorrow. It may sound cliché, but it’s true.

The scholarship fund started to honor my parent’s legacy, is a powerful way to carry on their passion for supporting the next generation and empower students with the support they need.

I believe higher education allows students to have the freedom to pursue a career that interests and inspires them. It’s my experience that the higher your job satisfaction, the higher your income and advancement. This scholarship is just one way students who may not otherwise have access to the doors that the college experience can open, are able to advance their future.

I know that scholarships make a difference.

The investments we make in students who are working to achieve their dreams pay dividends well into the future.

We’re going into our second year making the scholarship award. Last year, our first recipient shared with me how incredible his experience was. Seeing his joy only reinforced why this scholarship is so important, not only in the lives of the students we’re supporting, but to me and my family.

Part of creating the fund was building an opportunity to connect with and support students who may not have had the same opportunities I did. We’re not only providing financial support but creating a network for mentorship and connection for African American first-generation scholars. Creating this fund and being able to be a part of it has been such an enriching experience.

Often, folks think of scholarships or other philanthropic funds as something they may be able to leave behind in their name. However, it’s been my experience that getting to be a part of the investments yourself is a beautifully rewarding experience.

I always tell people to never underestimate their own capacity to give. We all define wealth differently, and you don’t have to be the wealthiest person to be a philanthropist.

Students, nonprofits, causes and other organizations need our support. The time for generosity is now.